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    I. SYNOPSIS The three-and-one-half-year ministry of the adult Jesus includes His repeated manifestations that the kingdom of God is at hand. A subordinate theme is the attitude of those from Nazareth who found it especially difficult to believe His divine connection, given they saw Him raised from infanthood. Interwoven through all this is the prophetic timetable that was fulfilled at every turn. This week’s lesson illustrates all three ele- ments as we see Jesus come home to Nazareth. The words He speaks in the synagogue excite His listeners as if they are hearing the text for the first time. In a way, they are, for He speaks them with grace, power, and authority, giving a true interpretation at odds with their own. Their excitement turns quickly to anger as they realize the import of His words. In a flash they turn on Him with murderous intent. The lesson ends with a miraculous rescue, directed by His Father. Jesus allows Himself to be forced to a hilltop by the frenzied mob, but then is miraculously cloaked by angels as He literally disappears and walks unseen through the crowd. Imagine their perplexity! Imagine His sorrow at their actions and His resolve to bring the great controversy to a close.

    II. TARGET The students will: • Recognize that Jesus is the fulfillment of the

    messianic prophecies and understand what Messiah came to do. (Know)

    • Realize that Jesus was unaccepted by those who knew Him longest. (Feel)

    • Resolve to trust that accepting Jesus as God is their pathway to eternity. (Respond)

    III. EXPLORE God the Son, Fundamental Belief 4: “God the eter- nal Son became incarnate in Jesus Christ. Through Him all things were created, the character of God is revealed, the salvation of humanity is accomplished, and the world is judged. Forever truly God, He became also truly human, Jesus the Christ. He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He lived and experienced temptation as a human being, but perfectly exemplified the righteousness and love of God. By His miracles He manifested God’s power and was attested as God’s promised Messiah. He suffered and died voluntarily on the cross for our sins and in our place, was raised from the dead, and ascended to heaven to minister in the heavenly sanctuary in our behalf. He will come again in glory for the final deliver- ance of His people and the restoration of all things. (Isa. 53:4-6; Dan. 9:25-27; Luke 1:35; John 1:1-3, 14; 5:22; 10:30; 14:1-3, 9, 13; Rom. 6:23; 1 Cor. 15:3, 4; 2 Cor. 3:18; 5:17-19; Phil. 2:5-11; Col. 1:15-19; Heb. 2:9-18; 8:1, 2.)”



    Activity Refer the students to the What Do You Think?

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    Scripture Story: Luke 4:16-30. Commentary: The Desire of Ages, chapters 23, 24. Key Text: Luke 4:18-21.


    a tumultuous homecoming a tumultuous homecoming

    LESSON 6


    Sabbath Read Mark 6: 17-28.

    H ow did you do with defining success and listing people and qualities of success in the What Do You Think? section? Jesus paid the highest compliment to John the Baptist that any person could hope to receive. Yet instead of enjoying the privileges of being the King’s herald, John was wasting away in a prison cell! He never had a visit from Jesus. He had no promise of help from his powerful cousin. Read Mark 6:17-28 to learn more about how John ended up in prison and to find out what happened to him. Do you think John’s faith weakened while he was in prison? How do you think John felt when he received word of Jesus’ ministry? _________________________________ _________________________________ _________________________________ _________________________________

    John had the solo role of heralding Jesus’ first coming. We are privileged, along with our church family, to herald His second coming. “The second coming of Christ is the blessed hope of the church, the grand climax of the gospel” (Fundamental Belief 25, The Second Coming of Christ).

    Sunday Read John 1:6, 7.

    W ould you say John the Baptist was successful in carrying out the purpose for which God had created him? Why or why not? Does John’s ending seem like that of a successful person? Why? Why not? _________________________________ _________________________________ _________________________________


    Read again this week’s Key Text in Matthew 11:11. Did you notice how Jesus pays John the highest honor when He says: “Among those born of women there has not risen any- one greater than John the Baptist.” But, imme- diately following that, He said, “Yet whoever is

    least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” What do you think Jesus meant by this?

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    Tuesday Read John 20:21.

    According to John 20:21, why did Jesus come to on earth? What does He then say to us? What very essential event must take place before we can be effective ambassadors for Jesus as John the Baptist was? See verse 22. _________________________________ _________________________________ _________________________________

    Wednesday Read Philippians 2:3-8.

    John the Baptist had every opportunity to draw attention to himself . . . his work . . . his calling. But he didn’t do that. What lesson is there in his words and actions for us? Check out these verses written by Paul for a further emphasis about God’s ideal for success: Phi- lippians 2:3-8. _________________________________ _________________________________ _________________________________

    Thursday Read Proverbs 3: 5, 6.

    E ven within the Christian community today, there is a growing teaching of the prosper- ity gospel . . . that if we believe and claim the promises of God, He emerges like some genie from a bottle to fulfill our desire for success, wealth, comfort. But what do we learn from John and from the Messiah whom he heralded? What, if anything, stands in the way of your waiting upon God, listening and responding to God’s will and plan for you, rather than expect- ing Him to come and fulfill your own desires? What guidance can you find in Proverbs 3:5, 6? _________________________________ _________________________________

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    Friday Read Revelation 11:15.

    T ake some time to consider how amazing it is that while John has the distinction of heralding in the advent of the promised kingdom of heaven, we stand at the dusk of an old, dying age when soon in every respect the kingdom of heaven will be a reality and earth as we know it will be gone. Jesus will soon come and take us to be with Him. We have the distinction of experiencing the other side of the cross—the mercy, grace, and transformation that come because of the sacrifice of Christ and the building of His temple (church), which cannot be destroyed. If John was a signpost of what was to come, what does that make us? What role do you (and I) have in this second advent of the Messiah? _________________________________ _________________________________ _________________________________

    Read Revelation 11:15 in a loud and dramatic voice. Can you picture yourself on that great day? Make a list and pray for all those you know who need to experience the mercy, grace, and transformation that comes from giving their lives to Jesus. Ask God to help you to daily show His character in your life.

    Texts credited to NIV are from the Holy Bible, New International

    Version. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011, by Biblica, Inc.

    Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

    Texts credited to NKJV are from the New King James Version.

    Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used

    by permission. All rights reserved.

    this week’s reading* The Desire of Ages (or Humble Hero), chapter 22. A special adaptation of The Desire of Ages, entitled Humble Hero, has been created just for you by the White Estate and the Pacific Press Publishing Association. Get more info about it at: www. cornerstoneconnections.net. By following this plan you will read at least one book of the Conflict of the Ages Series each year.


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  • section of their lesson. After they have completed it, discuss their responses. Jesus didn’t draw people to Himself by focus- ing on externals. It was the power of His message coupled with the working of the Holy Spirit that soft- ened hearts and ennobled minds. “His words are truth, and they have a deeper significance than appears on the surface. All the sayings of Christ have a value beyond their unpretending appearance. Minds that are quickened by the Holy Spirit will discern the value of these sayings. They will discern the precious gems of truth, though these may be buried treasures” (Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 110). Ask your students for per- sonal examples they can share.

    Illustration Share this illustration in your own words:

    Italian mathematician and astronomer Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) improved the telescope and was first to turn its optical power from objects on Earth to the sky, making numerous observations about the Earth and sun. Afte